Photographs relating to Native Americans or frontier themes, including portraits, expedition photographs, landscapes, and other images of dwellings, transportation, totem poles, ceremonies, infants and children in cradleboards, camps and towns, hunting and fishing, wild west shows, food preparation, funeral customs, the US Army and army posts, cliff dwellings, and grave mounds and excavations. The collection also includes images of prisoners at Fort Marion in 1875, Sioux Indians involved in the Great Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, the Fort Laramie Peace Commission of 1868, Sitting Bull and his followers after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
There are studio portraits of well-known Native Americans, including American Horse, Big Bow, Four Bears, Iron Bull, Ouray, Red Cloud, Red Dog, Red Shirt, Sitting Bull, Spotted Tail, Three Bears, and Two Guns White Calf. Depicted delegations include a Sauk and Fox meeting in Washington, DC, with Lewis V. Bogy and Charles E. Mix in 1867; Kiowas and Cheyennes at the White House in 1863; and Dakotas and Crows who visited President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Images of schools show Worcester Academy in Vinita, Oklahoma; Chilocco Indian School; Carlisle Indian Industrial School; Haskell Instittue, and Albuquerque Indian School.
Some photographs relate to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876; World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893; Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, 1903; and Centennial Exposition of the Baltimore and Ohio Railraod, 1876. Expedition photographs show the Crook expedition of 1876, the Sanderson expedition to the Custer Battlefield in 1877, the Wheeler Survey of the 1870s, Powell's surveys of the Rocky Mountain region during the 1860s and 1870s, and the Hayden Surveys.
Outstanding single views include the party of Zuni group led to the sea by Frank Hamilton Cushing; Episcopal Church Rectory and School Building, Yankton Agency; Matilda Coxe Stevenson and a companion taking a photographs of a Zuni ceremony; John Moran sketching at Acoma; Ben H. Gurnsey's studio with Indian patrons; Quapaw Mission; baptism of a group of Paiutes at Coeur d'Alene Mission; court-martial commission involved in the trial of Colonel Joseph J. Reynolds, 1877; President Harding at Sitka, Alaska; Walter Hough at Hopi in 1902; and Mrs. Jesse Walter Fewkes at Hopi in 1897.
George V. Allen was an attorney in Lawrence, Kansas and an early member of the National Stereoscope Association. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Allen made an extensive collection of photographs of the American West, mostly in stereographs, but also including cartes-de-visite and other styles of mounted prints, photogravures, lantern slides, autochromes, and glass negatives.
Ethel Cutler Freeman was an amateur Seminole specialist and research associate with the American Museum of Natural History. Her papers also reflect field work among the Arapaho, Shoshoni, Navaho, Pueblo, Hopi, Kickapoo, and people of the Virgin Islands, the Bahama Islands, and Haiti, and the music and chants of Africa, including those of the Maasai, Zulu, and Pygmies. A small amount of material relates to the Hoover Commission on Indian Affairs, of which Freeman was a member. Correspondents include several Seminole Indians and government officials, personal acquaintances, organizations, and associates of the American Museum of Natural History.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the anthropological interests of Ethel Cutler Freeman. The papers in this collection include her notes and diaries, published articles, unfinished manuscripts, and source materials. The bulk of the collection is material relating to the Seminole Indians of Florida.
Mrs. Freeman also made several trips to the Southwest and Mexico to study such tribes as the Arapaho, Shoshone, Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi. There is substantial information from these studies included in this collection. She also made less extensive studies of various other cultures in the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Haiti. In 1950, she studied tribal music and chants of several African tribes and the material from these studies forms the major portion of Series 7.
The collection also contains several sound recordings made by Freeman and numerous photographs, negatives, and slides. During rehousing, additional materials including index cards and notebooks from field trips were located and incorporated into the collection. A small amount of material relates to the Hoover Commission on Indian Affairs, of which Freeman was a member.
Correspondents include several Seminole Indians and government officials, personal acquaintances, organizations, and associates of the American Museum of Natural History as well as Dean Amadon, Richard Archbold, Conrad M. Arensberg, Dana W. Atchley, Jacques Barzun, Ruth Benedict, Leonard J. Brass, Louis Capron, Frances Densmore, Margery S. Douglas, John W. Griffin, A.J. Hanna, Ronald F. Lee, Margaret Mead, Robert Cushman Murphy, Kenneth W. Porter, Harry L. Shapiro, Howard Sharp, Frank Speck, Charlton W. Tebean, and Clark Wissler.
Although the majority of the collection spans the years 1934 to 1972, there are some items with dates that fall outside of this range. Some published materials are dated as early as 1822 and one note is dated 1975 and was added to the collection after Freeman's death in 1972. The folders containing these items have been dated accordingly, but these outlier dates have not affected the dates of the sub-series or series.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
The collection is arranged into 15 series: (1) Biographical information and miscellaneous personal papers, 1939-1971; (2) Correspondence, 1936-1972; (3) Manuscripts, 1936-1971; (4) Source Material, 1934-1970; (5) Seminole Indians, 1934-1972; (6) North American Indians, 1936-1971; (7) Cultures other than North American Indian, 1943-1970; (8) Meetings, 1956-1968; (9) Printed materials, 1936-1972; (10) Pamphlets, 1935-1970; (11) Population and Material Culture, 1939, 1951-1963; (12) Sound recordings, 1940-1958, 1969-1970; (13) Lists of Photographs, 1939-1970; (14) Photographs, 1936-1971; (15) Index Cards, undated
Ethel Cutler Freeman was born in 1886 in Morristown, New Jersey. Freeman was the daughter of a prosperous family, which gave her the opportunity to study abroad in England at Mademoiselle Marie Souvestre's Academy for girls. After studying in England, Freeman returned to the United States and was married to Leon S. Freeman, a New York broker, in 1909.
By 1934, Freeman had become bored with the typical social activities available to her; while discussing the matter with a friend, Marcellus Hartley Dodge, she described herself as having a "brain full of cobwebs." Dodge, a former trustee at Columbia University, suggested that Freeman enroll in some courses at Columbia. Acting on Dodge's advice, Freeman started taking graduate courses in psychology and sociology at Columbia University, but soon became fascinated with anthropology. During her studies at Columbia, Freeman spent time in the western United States studying the Arapaho and Shoshone while her husband recuperated from a horse riding accident; it was at this point that she developed a taste for field work and an interest in Native American cultures. After completing her studies, Freeman decided that she wanted to study the Seminole people of Florida, near whom she and her family owned a winter home in Naples.
Back on the East Coast, Freeman met Dr. Clark Wissler, then Curator of the Indian Division of the American Museum of Natural History. Wissler was supportive of Freeman's aspirations to continue her anthropological studies, but balked at her expressed interest in the Seminole, whom at that time had a reputation for not being open to contact with outsiders. Undaunted, Freeman contacted W. Stanley Hansen, the man in charge of Seminole settlement; after repeated correspondence with Hansen convinced him she was no mere hobbyist, he agreed to help her make connections within the Seminole community.
Freeman made two visits to the Big Cypress Reservation for the American Museum of Natural History with a government representative before taking her 14-year-old daughter, Condict, and 12-year-old son, Leon Jr., for an extended stay with a group of Seminoles at the heart of the Everglades in February of 1940. After that first winter stay with the Seminoles, Freeman spent virtually every winter living within their remote communities and studying their culture. Over time, Dr. Wissler became impressed by Freeman's thorough and insightful reports and analysis of her findings among the Seminoles and got the American Museum of Natural History to back her winter field studies. Eventually Freeman's work gained her a reputation for being an expert on Seminole culture, which often placed her in the role of consultant to government agencies on issues dealing with Seminole and broader Native American concerns.
As a result of her long acquaintance with the Seminoles, Freeman also became interested in how different groups of Native Americans and other cultures adapted to changes brought about by contact with modern society. Freeman made several trips to the Southwestern United States and Mexico to study such tribes as the Arapaho, Shoshone, Navajo, Pueblo, Choctaw, and Hopi; she also made less extensive studies of various other cultures in the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Haiti. In 1950, Freeman went to Africa to study tribal music and chants of several tribes. Much later, in 1968, the American Museum of Natural History sent Freeman to Portugal to study local costumes.
In the 1940s, Freeman took part in publishing studies for the Department of Agriculture about the Seminoles and worked as an advocate for the Navajo, who at that time were in tense relations with the United States government over their living conditions. From 1947 to 1957, Freeman worked as a representative for the American Civil Liberties Union on the National Coordinating Committee for Indian Affairs; she also was a member of the Indian Rights Committee for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1946 to 1966. From 1948 to 1950, Freeman served as a member of the Hoover Commission for Reorganization of Government within the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Throughout her studies in the field and her activities as an advocate for Native American rights, Freeman published her work frequently and gave many talks at a variety of conferences and special events. In 1964, Freeman traveled to Moscow to deliver her paper, "The Correlation between Directed Culture Change and Self Determination," at the 7th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences; she attended the same conference series the following year in Japan to deliver another paper, entitled "Lawlessness in an Indian Tribe as a Microcosm of a World Trend." Freeman continued visiting and studying the Seminoles in Florida late into her career, making her last visit the year before her death.
Ethel Cutler Freeman died on July 14th, 1972.
Letter to Mrs. Margaret Blaker, Archivist at the Smithsonian Institution's Anthropological Archives; Washington, D.C. from Ethel Cutler Freeman. Dated April 24, 1972. Located in vertical files, folders on Ethel Cutler Freeman, in the reading room of the National Anthropological Archives.
"Morristown Anthropologist; Mrs. Leon Freeman Likes Seminole Indians." Newark Sunday News, February 16, 1947.
"New Vernon Woman, Indian Authority." The Morris Observer, October 13, 1955.
"She's 'Hooked' On Seminole Indians: Leading Authority On That World." Daily Record, March 6, 1970.
"The Sentinel Visits--Indian Authority Mrs. Leon Freeman: Who Is Now Working To Rescue A Nation." Sunday Sentinel, February 2, 1947.
1886 -- Born in Morristown, New Jersey.
1909 -- Married Leon S. Freeman.
1934 -- Began taking graduate courses at Columbia University in philosophy before changing to anthropology.
1936 -- Field work with the Arapaho and Shoshone.
1938 -- Joined American Anthropological Association. First became associated with American Museum of Natural History.
1939-1943 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1940-1948 -- Special Field Assistant, American Museum of Natural History.
1943 -- Joined American Ethnological Society.
1944 -- Field work in Mexico searching for a lost tribe of Seminoles; studied the Mascogas, Papagos, and Kickapoo.
1945 -- Field work in New Mexico, studying the Pueblo and Navajo.
1946 -- Joined the Society of Women Geographers. Field work with the Navajo, Papago, and Hopi.
1946-1948 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1947 -- Field work with the Navajo, Papago, and Pueblo.
1947-1957 -- Represented the American Civil Liberties Union on the National Coordinating Committee for Indian Affairs.
1947-1966 -- Member Indian Rights Committee, American Civil Liberties Union.
1948 -- Appointed first female trustee of the American Institute of Anthropology. Became Field Associate, American Museum of Natural History.
1948-1950 -- Member Hoover Commission for Reorganization of Government – Bureau of Indian Affairs.
1949 -- Field work in the Bahamas, studying native culture.
1950 -- Field work in Africa, studying the Zulu, Masai, and pygmy peoples.
1951 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1952 -- Field work studying native cultures of the Virgin Islands and Haiti.
1953-1955 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1955-1957 -- Acting Chairman, American Civil Liberties Union.
1957 -- Field work studying Mexican Seminoles.
1957-1958 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1959 -- Attended annual meeting of American Anthropological Association in Mexico City.
1960-1965 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1963 -- Field work in Oklahoma, studying Seminoles.
1964 -- Presented paper, "The Correlation between Directed Culture Change and Self Determination" VII International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Moscow.
1968 -- Studied costumes of Portugal for American Museum of Natural History.
1965 -- Presented paper, "Lawlessness in an Indian Tribe as a Microcosm of a World Trend" VIII International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan.
1970-1971 -- Winter field work with Florida Seminoles.
1972 -- Field work in Portugal and the Azores. Died, July 14.
1942 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "We Live with the Seminoles," Natural History 49, no. 4 (April 1942): 226-236.
1944 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "The Seminole Woman of the Big Cypress and Her Influence in Modern Life," América Indígena 4, no. 2 (April 1944), 123-128.
1960 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "Culture Stability and Change among the Seminoles of Florida." In Men and Cultures: Selected Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Philadelphia, September 1-9, 1956, edited by Anthony F.C. Wallace, 249-254. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960. Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "Directed Culture-Change and Selfdetermination in Superordinate and Subordinate Societies," Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences 4, Moscow (August 1964), 85-90.
1961 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "The Happy Life in the City of Ghosts: An Analysis of a Mikasuki Myth," The Florida Anthropologist 14, nos. 1-2 (March-June 1961), 23-36.
1964 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "Directed Culture-Change and Selfdetermination in Superordinate and Subordinate Societies," Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences 4, Moscow (August 1964), 85-90.
1965 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "Two Types of Cultural Response to External Pressures Among the Florida Seminoles," Anthropological Quarterly 38, no. 2 (April 1965), 55-61.
1968 -- Freeman, Ethel Cutler. "Lawlessness in an Indian Tribe as a Microcosm of a World Trend," Proceedings of the VIIIth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, 1968, Tokyo and Kyoto (Tokyo: Science Council of Japan, 1968) 191-193.
Photo lot 62, W. Stanley Hanson photographs of Seminole Indians in Florida, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Objects donated by Ethel Cutler Freeman held in Department of Anthropology collections in accession 319549.
The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation also holds an Ethel Cutler Freeman collection.
Film materials were transfered to the Human Studies Film Archive under the accession numbers HSFA 1986.11.8 (African footage) and HSFA 1986.11.9 (Seminole footage).
The papers of Ethel Cutler Freeman were left to the National Anthropological Archives by the terms of her will. Her son, Leon Freeman, Jr., donated the collection to NAA in August 1972.
By Ethel Freeman's instructions, the collection was restricted for ten years dating from the receipt and signing of the release forms on October 12, 1972. Literary property rights to the unpublished materials in the collection were donated to the National Anthropological Archives.
Access to the Ethel Cutler Freeman papers requires an appointment.
Seminole recordings cannot be accessed without the permission of the Seminole Tribe.
The Frank and Dolores Becker papers contains materials from the Indian Association of America, Inc. as well as material regarding Frank Becker's work with Navajo Soldiers in the Army Air Corps during World War II. This includes a full run of the Indian Association of America's publication Smoke Signals, personal scrapbooks as well as a collection of phonographic records.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the Frank and Dolores Becker papers come from their years working for the Indian Association of America between 1949 and 1968 as president (Frank) and secretary (Dolores). This includes administrative materials such as articles of incorporation and dissolution, the constitution and by-laws, member lists, as well as meeting reports and notes. There is also a full run of Smoke Signals (1949-1961), the association's bi-monthly magazine edited by Dolores Becker.
In addition to materials regarding the Indian Association of America there are two copies of Frank Becker's book, Navajo Way and background information on his work at the Presbyterian Hospitality house during WWII teaching English and reading to Navajo soldiers. There are several photos of Becker and the Navajo soldiers he taught as well as an audio cassette of the recording in the Navajo language used in the classroom. The recording features Frank Becker in English and Roger Davis in Navajo and includes several prayers as well as general army instructions and general orders for interior guard duty.
There are also two scrapbooks in the collection. One was created by Dolores which includes drawings, poems and research she conducted on Native American culture. The second is a scrapbook of newspaper articles and clippings, many of them written by Frank Becker, on the Becker's activities with the Indian Association of America and other related Native American issues. Many notices of Frank Becker's speaking engagements are included in this scrapbook. Also included is the Becker's collection of phonographic records. These nine records, 10 inch (78rm) were produced by Tom Tom records, Canyon records and one by Victor and include a variety of Native American songs.
This collection is arranged in one series alphabetically. The phonographic records are listed at the end of the collection, also in alphabetical order.
Frank and Dolores Becker:
Frank Becker was born in New York City on April 24, 1907 to Frank and Thora Bregartner Becker. A Graduate from Stuyvesant High School and the New York Training School for teachers, Becker received a B.S. from NYU in 1942 and was awarded his degree the same year he was inducted into the Army Air Corps. Becker taught at P.S. 17 before and after WWII and later received a Masters of Arts Degree.
Though he started as a mechanic in the Army Air Corps in 1942, Becker was soon transferred to the 704th training group in Atlantic City, New Jersey to help organize a school for illiterate soldiers. Becker was tasked to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to a mixed group of students that included Greeks, Chinese, Navajo, Pima and Papago soldiers. The largest group of Native American soldiers Becker taught were Navajo. Because many of the Navajo soldiers could not speak English, Roger Davis, an elected leader to the Navajo Tribal Council and Presbyterian missionary, was sent to Atlantic City to act as an interpreter. Together, Becker and Davis made phonographic recordings of the Army Handbook in both English and Navajo. Davis assisted Becker for five weeks staying as a guest of the Presbyterian Hospitality House. Becker later wrote a book on his experiences working with the group of Navajo soldiers titled Navajo Way (1956). The experience also sparked a lifelong interested in the Navajo culture as well as awareness of many of the problems facing the Navajo community in regards to education and health.
Following the war, Becker visited Arizona and New Mexico with his family in in the fall on 1947. Frank had Frank met Dolores in the early 1940's through mutual friends and the two were married December 27, 1944. Dolores, born August 6, 1913, had passed the New Jersey bar in 1936 and had been practicing law in the juvenile court system. After meeting Frank she also took an active interest in Native American culture. The family visited Gallup, Window Rock and Indian Wells, where they visited with Roger Davis, making particular note of the schools they visited. On the return from this trip, Becker wrote passionately on the failing of the U.S. government to fulfill its obligations to the Navajo people, particularly in the area of education. Frank and Dolores both joined several organizations, most notably the Indian Association of America, dedicated to helping Native Americans advocating especially for WWII Veterans returning home and education. Additionally, Frank wrote many columns, letters to the editor and speeches on both his experiences teaching Navajo soldiers during the war as well current issues facing Native American communities. Dolores appeared on several TV shows in the 1950's directed towards younger audiences explaining Native American cultures.
Frank Becker died November 11, 1979 in Shokan, NY and Dolores died on March 6, 2010 leaving behind a daughter and a son.
Additional Information on Frank and Dolores Becker provided by their daughter Thora Becker.
Indian Association of America:
According to its constitution and by-laws, The Indian Association of America was originally founded in Denver, Colorado by Dr. Vincent "Red Fox" St. James and Dr. George C. Stagg in 1924. Red Fox, who claimed to be Blackfoot but whose origins are undetermined, had previously been a founder of the Tipi (Tepee) Order of America, an organization that blended ritual aspects closely related to Freemasonry with the pan-Indian movement dedicated to advocacy work for the welfare of Native Americans. The Indian Association of America mimicked this model with some of its stated objectives being; to promote better understanding between the races, to study the Indian cultures of America, to foster education for American Indians, to provide direct help in emergencies faced by American Indian communities, to protest laws detrimental to American Indians and to promote the observance of American Indian Day.
Though previously active, the Indian Association of America was officially incorporated in the state of New York in 1950 as a non-profit organization. Frank Becker took over as "Great Sachem," or President, in October of 1950 and led the organization until its dissolution in 1968. Its magazine, Smoke Signals, began publishing bi-monthly in June of 1949 with Dolores Becker serving as editor for the entirety of its run between 1949 and 1961. Frank Becker acted as a contributing editor and later as an advisory editor. The Indian Association of America formally dissolved in March of 1968.
Gift of Thora Becker, 2013.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com).
Due to their fragile nature, the AV materials in this collection are closed to researchers until they have been digitized.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation Records, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.